From the Conservatives to Labour, the Lib Dems to the Green party – here’s what the different parties are promising when it comes to sorting out the issue that is the housing industry in England.

As the date of the next general election gets closer, we look at what’s promised for housing by each of the main parties in their election manifestos. From the Conservatives to Labour, the Lib Dems to the Green party – here’s what the different parties are promising when it comes to sorting out the issue that is the housing industry in England. 

Labour Party

In their manifesto, the Labour party are going big with the promise of the “biggest increase in social and affordable housing in a generation” with the development of 1.5m homes over the next five years. And they hope to achieve this in several ways, including updating the National Policy Planning Framework to reverse the changes made by the Conservative party, including restoring mandatory housing targets. With regards land, they will focus on brownfield as a priority, fast-tracking the approval of urban brownfield sites, while also making use of poor quality ‘grey belt’ land. They pledge the creation of several new towns and will strengthen planning obligations to ensure new developments feature more affordable homes.

For homebuyers, the Labour Party will make the mortgage guarantee scheme permanent, rebranding it as ‘Freedom to Buy’. Much like the scheme in its current form, it will look to support first-time buyers who struggle to save for a large deposit, allowing them to buy with a 5% deposit.

Conservative Party

For the Conservatives, in their manifesto they pledge to build 1.6m homes and will abolish the EU nutrient neutrality rules to unlock the immediate building of 100,000 new homes. They also promise to build a “record number of new homes” each year on brownfield land in urban areas, fast-tracking those through the planning system which are being built on previously developed land in the country’s 20 largest cities.

And what will the Conservatives do to help first-time buyers? Well, they promise permanent stamp duty cuts for first-time buyers, with no tax on properties up to the value of £425,000. And alongside that, they want to revive the Help to Buy scheme. However, they would make it a “new and improved” version to allow first-time buyers to get on the property ladder with a 5% deposit, on interest terms they can afford.

And the Conservatives confirm in their manifesto that they will continue with the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats promise to deliver 380,000 homes a year in their manifesto, with the expansion of neighbourhood planning across England and the building of ten new garden cities. They also promise to ensure that new housing schemes have the right infrastructure, services and amenities in place.

The party promises to encourage development of existing brownfield sites with financial incentives for affordable and social housing to be included. They will also deliver “use it or lose it” planning permissions in situations where developers refuse to build. 

Unfortunately, there was no mention of anything to do with first-time buyers or helping people get on the housing ladder in their manifesto.

They have however pledged a Rent to Own model for social housing whereby tenants would be able to gain an increasing stake in their social property, allowing them to own it outright after 30 years.

Green Party

The focus in the Green Party manifesto is on social housing, where they pledge 150,000 new social homes every year. They outline this would be achieved through a mixture of new home building and refurbishment of older housing stock. They also state they will put an end to Right to Buy in an effort to keep social homes in local communities.

And while the Green Party has not shared any pledges which would be of interest to first-time buyers, they have made clear their plans for new properties being built. These include making sure all new homes meet Passivhaus or equivalent standards, with energy efficiency measures such as solar panels and air source heat pumps to be included as standard, where appropriate.

And for all homes, they pledge for every home in the UK to have an EPC rating of ‘B’ or above within ten years. This would be achieved by a local, authority-led street-by-street retrofit programme.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a first-time buyer keen to buy your first home, will the different pledges on housing made by the government parties impact your voting decision?

For now, housebuilding continues across the country, with almost 9 in 10 of new homes built achieving an A or B energy rating and a range of home buying offers available from housebuilders. Get started looking for your new home here.